Soccer News & Notes, January 6, 2011

Australia to stage 2015 AFC Asian Cup

Submitted by Matt Cutler on Thu, 06/01/2011
Australia has been confirmed as the host of the 2015 Asian Cup, easing the pain of the country’s humiliating recent defeat in the bid race for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) was the sole candidate for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) event, but still had to adhere to the formal bidding process by making its final presentation to the AFC executive committee. Australia was dumped out at the first-round stage of the 2022 World Cup tender last month after picking up just one vote.

AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam said: "The AFC is happy that all the promises Australia has made will be met in good time. We have much interest in seeing the game develop even more in Australia and this is a part of that."

The tournament is scheduled for January 2015 and will feature the top 16 national teams in Asia. Matches will be played at four or five venues, with an initial shortlist of eight having been put forward by FFA. The shortlisted stadia include Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, Sydney Football Stadium, Parramatta Stadium, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park, Gold Coast’s Skilled Park, Canberra Stadium and Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said: "The Australian nation will be on show not just on the field but also off the field. The people of Australia, the government of Australia are ready and able to host the Cup and ensure that football advances throughout Asia through the efforts of Australia."

Source: www.sportbusiness.com

AFC president Bin Hammam hints at challenging Blatter
Submitted by Matt Cutler on Thu, 06/01/2011

Mohamed Bin Hammam has dropped a hint that he could challenge Sepp Blatter for the presidency of world football’s governing body after all.
Blatter will seek a new term as FIFA president at the global body’s congress in June, but back in August Bin Hammam, the Qatari head of the Asian Football Confederation, told AFP: "I’ll be backing Sepp Blatter to remain in office for a new mandate."

However, on Wednesday he refused to rule out challenging Blatter and criticised the FIFA chief’s announcement of plans for the introduction of an anti-corruption committee through the media without first running the proposal by executive committee members.

"Some of FIFA’s acts I do not approve of or agree with," Bin Hammam told Reuters. "I am a member of the FIFA executive committee and we never discussed this idea (the anti-corruption committee) inside the executive committee – I read about it in the media…I don’t appreciate that ‘tomorrow’ we go to a meeting of FIFA and we find already that a committee has been formed, that members have been appointed and the code, or whatever, has been decided."

Asked if he thought the time had come for a change at the top of FIFA, Bin Hammam said: "A change is a demand for an improvement really. I cannot be 100% frank with you, but I think FIFA needs lot of improvement. I think there is a scope of work I can do, there is something I can present and do for international football."

He continued: "I think there is a scope of work I can do, there is something I can present and do for international football. Perhaps there are other people who share the same opinion, and they have the same views as me. I have the support of people who have the vision to develop the game and improve the situation within FIFA. If I was given this chance, I would not hesitate to accept it."

Source: www.sportbusiness.com

FIFA chief ponders changes
Thursday, January 6, 2011

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told a new football task force to investigate whether there should be a change to the system of three points for a win and one for a draw.

The modern points format was first introduced into the English Football League back in 1981, with every other major league adopting the format by the mid-1990s. However, the Task Force Football 2014 has been set up to look at the laws of the game and come up with ways to make it more attractive, with the aim of introducing changes at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"Its objective is to assess tournaments and the way in which the game is organised," Blatter told www.fifa.com. "Let me give you a few examples. At the moment three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw, which is something we can discuss and decide whether it’s a good thing or not. Is extra-time the only option we have when a game ends in a draw? And if we stick with extra-time, how should we end games? Is it worth taking another look at the golden goal? Some people like it, some people don’t."

The task force, which is made up of administrators, players and ex-players, referees and medical experts, was set up in the wake of last year’s World Cup in South Africa. Blatter has also claimed there are too many domestic matches for clubs in countries such as England and Spain. He added: "The other big issue is the calendar. In my view, and this is something on which (UEFA president) Michel Platini agrees, domestic championships are too long because there are too many teams and too many matches."."

Source: Soccer Ex Business Daily

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